Reported By: Sukanya Chatterjee, Manager Programmes, East
Chattisgarh, Surguja: Semardih is a village in Surguja district of Chhattisgarh. It is inhabited by 329 Gond and Kanwar families. The entire area is hilly. The families subsist on rain fed agriculture. A few farmers also grow Rabi crops using water from a small stream in the village. Krishna Kumar lives with his wife, mother and three children and supports them through rain fed paddy cultivation on his two hectares of land. He is illiterate but can manage to sign as taught by his children.
He has been learning improved methods of agriculture like seed treatment, nursery preparation and line sowing, vermin composting and kitchen gardening facilitated by our partner SAMERTH under the livelihood initiative SOUL(Sustainable Options for Uplifting Livelihood).
As an experiment, he selected two patches of land, 40 decimals each for cultivation. In one patch, he applied his earlier method of cultivation, where he threw seeds haphazardly in one and improved techniques seed treatment, line sowing on the other.
After 110 days, the production in first patch yielded 75 kg whereas in the second the production was 2.5 quintals (250 kg), almost the four times. Greatly encouraged by this, he has undertaken line sowing in 1.5 acres while in the remaining 0.5 acres, he has started kitchen gardening. The increase in yield has also increased his income which has improved the quality of life for his family. His results are now inspiring other farmers to adopt line sowing technique.